There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America) | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America)There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America)

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
For beer folks, Chico, CA, and New Glarus, WI, are must-see capitals on the U.S. brewing map, but getting between the two is no simple feat. There and Back is named for the planes, trains, and zeal needed to connect them. This classic English-style Bitter is a complex yet easy-drinking mix of toasty malt and a fruity, herbal hop flavor.

New Glarus is fiercely loyal to its home state, growing to one of the largest breweries in the U.S. without selling a single drop outside of the borders of Wisconsin. With those local tastes in mind, New Glarus has perfected traditional German styles and invented masterful versions of complex and intense fruit beers featuring Wisconsin-grown ingredients.

Added by raynmoon on 07-03-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 1,276
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Packaged 5/22/14.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, and slight citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, toast, earth, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

meh, this is one of the least exciting beers in the box, and although its pretty tasty, theres not much to it, and its not a style that gets much stoke going with me. clear lighter copper to bronze sort of color, bright looking, no haze at all. the nose is a little tannic, grain rich and a slightly sweet. there is some nice bittering hops in there as well, but its pretty simple really. the flavor is identical to the nose, the grain tannins are evident and it makes the beer feel a little thin. it also drags on a little too long in the middle, overbalancing the sweetness of the grain, leaving just the bitter hop finish, which isnt anything abrasive, but its more robust than the english ones for the most part. well carbonated and clean drinking, but just a beer thats hard to get too pumped up on. i was hoping for a fruit beer with new glarus, given how fun they get with it, so this was a bit of a drag. good beer though for what it is, as they all are in this box.

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Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

On draft, pours a dark orange gold color, very still. Not much head.

The nose is bitter, earthy hops. Very rustic and musty with a little citrus zest. The flavor is malt pelts, grassy and bitter hops. A little hay/straw note, very grainy. This is a bit all over the place, dancing around from flavor to flavor, not really working together. This is not as balanced as I would like it to be. Still good and refreshing, but could be better.

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Photo of metter98
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head.
S: Light to moderate aromas of fruity yeast are present in the nose along with hints of nutty malts.
T: The taste follows the smell, but the malty flavors are a stronger and there is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and the taste has a nice balance of contrasting fruity and malty flavors.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

And now with New Glarus at the helm, the Beer Camp Across American series takes on a British theme, showcasing a supple yet bold malting, assertive yet reserved hopping and a neutral American palate to thread it all together.

As the brazen copper ale unfolds it does so with creamy froth and a mild haze. Its toasted biscuit malts are perfectly suited to carry its faint fruity sweetness on its back, allowing an early floral bouquet and a herbal woodiness waft about.

Its delicate body releases its sweetened grip and paves the way for hops to rival its taste. Herbal, woody and tea-like, the spicy earthy character begins to show. While much of the malt is remiss with peanut hulls, bread crust and lightening caramel- a balanced taste ensues.

Its late charge is a continued dryness, forgoing much of its malty sweetness in favor of an ironside of heady mineral, a broad wood bitterness and a soft minty after-palate. Echoes of sweetness and spice decorate a short and extended finish in classic British form.

(As an aside: it's getting quite boring to taste all these "proper" flavors in such muted form- it's like beer drinking on training wheels.)

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color capped by an impressive head; nice retention and lacing action

Smell: Toasted bread, pecans and a hint of fruit

Taste: Toasted bread and pecan with a developing hint of stone fruit and nutskin bitterness; some toffee sweetness builds, after the swallow, to offset the bitter flavors

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; doesn't feel like a bitter but I understand the issue with that

Overall: I note that a number of reviewers are incorrectly calling this an ESB and a few are calling it an English Pale Ale - I think the problem is that many folks are unfamiliar with an English Bitter, as few domestic craft brewers tackle the style and those that do tend not to bottle it; in any event, for a bottled Bitter, this is OK though it lacks some of the earthy bitterness and stone fruit flavor to really nail the style

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Photo of emerge077
3.51/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a saturated dark orange with a light haze, a finger of foam on the surface that recedes to a thin broken skim soon enough. Rising trails of carbonation visible.

Aroma is mild and faint, as it warms there's a hint of yeast and dry crackers malt.

Taste has very mild cracker, straw, and bready malt notes, it's slightly astringent with a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. Light bodied and fairly drinkable. It's just not all that memorable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Bottle: Poured a light copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention. Aroma consists of fruity ester with light dry bitter notes. Taste is also dominated by dry caramel malt notes with some fruity ester. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Enjoyable as a one-time beer but not something I would necessarily seek again.

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Photo of mothman
3.54/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Stop #6 on the tour takes me to Wisconsin.

1 finger of beige head. Leaves some nice lace. Color is an orange hued copper.

Flavor profile: Bready, biscuity malts. Toasted. Hops are fairly herbal with some fruitiness. Orange stands out a lot.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a touch of creaminess. Lighter bodied. Good carbonation.

Overall, a flavorful bitter. I love the orange flavors I get from this beer. Easy to drink.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 5/22/2014. Pours lightly hazy orange/copper color with a 1-finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of citrus zest, pear, apple, caramel, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of citrus zest, pear, apple, caramel, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy/herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus zest, pear, apple, caramel, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Nice balance and robustness of earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and fruity yeast flavors; with a crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice English bitter. Good balance and robustness of earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a nonic a clear brass color with a thinner but well sustained white head,hard to find the right adjective for the color so I came up with a light brass.herbal hops and toffee malt in the nose,the hops are bigger than the average English bitter.Hard toffee and mild caramel on the pale with a drying zesty herbal hop finish,again the hops a little bigger than the average of the style.A good quaffing bitter,could drink alot of these in a sitting.

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Photo of jlindros
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%

Pours a decent but smaller fizzy 1/4 finger head that fades at a med pace with lots of nice lacing, clear honey orange color with an amber hue. 3.75

Nose is typical ESB, plenty of grassy herbal hops, some earthy leafy aromas as well, a bittering earthy like hop, into biscuity sweet slight candy like malt, a little chewy caramel like malt. 3.75

Taste brings lots of herbal hops, tons of black tea and herbal tea, like tea leaves are still soaking in it. Mild grassy leafy herbal hops, some earthy tones and fair bitterness. A mild sweet like candy-ish malt, but not really candy or sweet, just perceives it to be, touch of biscuit and brown sugar, little caramel toffee syrup note. Finish is fair bitterness, more grassy herbal hops with plenty more iced tea, and some grassy earthy hop notes as well, little brown sugar caramel malt lingering. 3.25

Mouth is med bod, decent but lighter carb. 3.5

Overall it started nicely, aroma was pretty good for an English Bitter, but the flavor profile just swung and missed, so much iced tea and sweet malts that attempt to be syrupy but not quite there, just wasn't really enjoyable for an english bitter. Also not nearly as bitter as expected, and little on the grassy leafy herbal earthy hops. 3.5

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Package date of 5/22/14. 12 ounce bottle.

A: Pours a slightly hazed orange with a one-inch thick off-white head with good retention and leaves nice rings.

N: Lemony citrus, fruity, herbal, a slight malt sweetness.

T: Malty/grainy, earthy, toasted nuts, faint citrus zest.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Dry, malty, slightly spicy/herbal finish.

O: Easy drinking and refreshing. A thirst quencher.

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Photo of chinchill
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle -- bottled on date 22 May 2014 -- served in a nonic glass.

Pours deep amber in color with a slight haze; very good, durable head and good lacing. Some rising carbonation bubbles.

Aroma: mainly a blend of malts with a touch of spicyl/fruity hops. Approaches 3.75.

Flavor: Malty but well balanced and matched blend of malts and hops. Pleasant lingering malty flavor. Near equal sweet/bitter balance.

Feel: medium body and medium, crisp but soft carbonation. Just right for style. Approaches 4.25

O: an excellent and easy drinking version of the style.

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Photo of mactrail
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Attractive coppery color but a very modest foam in the St. Bernardus globe. Virtually no lacing but a pleasantly fizzy mouthfeel.

This has the biscuity taste but followed by the herbal remedy flavor. A mineral, bitter and barky taste. Actually the frothy mouth-filling sensation is quite nice. A hint of caramel and a dry finish. Excessively bitter aftertaste.

This seems to not a very good imitation an English Bitter, though it does have the mineral taste and fruity hop note. From the 12 oz bottle as part of the 2014 Beer Camp box, purchased at Liticker's Liquor in Ocean Beach.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden amber in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and moderate amounts of medium golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a large patch of mottled thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel + toasted malts with a light hint of nuttiness. There is a light aroma of fruity yeast as well.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of caramel + toasted malts with a light hint of sweetness. That is followed by a light flavor of nuts that fades fairly quickly. Finally there is a light flavor of fruity yeast and a touch of earthy hops which impart a light amount of bitterness which fades pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and almost sessionable (just a hint too much alcohol for it to be a truly sessionable beer). Very nice flavor.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this 12oz chilled from the bottle in a 1/2 pint

The color is medium amber with light beige cream and very fine bead.The smell is very good with great toasted odor and mild fruitiness in the yeast ester and light pear-like sweet scent with mild biscuit aroma. The feel is great with medium bitter entry with slight creamy entery and medium light bitterness with light nutty toasted grain texture and mostly dry clean finish.

Gentle hop flavor with herbal element and slight caramel flavor from the malt with subtle fruity yeast taste with hint of dry toast and yet creamy flavor from malt and yeast comingling which adds a light smooth yet not really buttery aspect. The taste is great-what you expect from an English bitter-a blend of hops malt and yeast. I am finding more to enjoy as it warms with light spice and slight dark sugar in the back with mildly bitter herbal hop aspect in the finish. Overall I could drink this every day...enjoyable actually a pretty great bitter/ESB with lots of dimension second favorite in the case so far: splendid and enjoyable

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Photo of woodychandler
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had picked up most of this series as singles at The Friendly Greek and then put them in my reefer awaiting review. The backlog at Chez Woody is phenomenal and so I am now getting around to them.

From the bottle: "This easy-drinking English-style bitter features nutty, toasted English malts balanced by a solid dose of zesty hops and a fruity, dry finish."; "Brewed in Collaboration with New Glarus Brewing Co."; "For beer folks, Chico, CA, and New Glarus, WI, are bucket-list pins on the U.S. brewing map, but it's no simple feat seeing both. There and Back is named for the planes, trains, and zeal that connect them. This classic English-style Bitter is a complex mix of toasty malt and a fruity, herbal hops."; "We brew in Chico, CA, and Mills River, NC, to bring you the finest quality beer."

I Pop!ped the cap and commenced a gentle pour so as not to rouse the lees that had collected in the punt. This meant no head until I used the bartender's trick and stirred it in the glass. I got a brief two fingers of tawny head that fell rather quickly. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a biscuity, nutty maltiness that I have encountered in other English bitters along with a dried, dark fruitiness. Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium, but quite effervescent. Taste was at once nutty and fruity and I was put in mmind of fruitcake. I am one of those rare birds who actually will eat fruitcake, albeit in limited quantities, hence I know from whence I speak. Finish was semi-dry, so the yeast may have continued to do something to it while in the bottle, if people felt it sweet originally. 40 IBUs, so not wildly hopped, strengthening my case for bottle aging, even inadvertently. Next, the lees pour: Waste not, want not has long been my motto. Now, I did get a little bit of head initially. Color was Copper, but man, it was murky and muddy. The nose seemed to have a more pronounced maltiness. The taste was not markedly different, but it did seem slightly more bitter.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Dark copper body with a quarter inch of head. Bready aroma, with alcohol, line, sweet, fruity malts. Earth flavor with underlying herbal notes. Light line and perhaps a touch of citrus. Not on par with the quaffable British bitters. Another mediocre, boring Beer Camp offering.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%

On tap at Bx Beer Depot. Served in a taster.

Appearance - Amber body. Small white head with a medium collar.

Smell - Fruity and estery. A bit of earthy spicy English hop. Caramel malt.

Taste - It's really fruity. Surprisingly so. Caramel malt with a little bit of sweetness. Earthy english hops give it some bitterness. Almost a creamy finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Maybe medium heavy. Medium carbonation.

Overall - The fruitiness is odd for the style, but everything else is pretty good.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Head dwindles rather quickly body is a deep copper hue with a beige off white head, forms fine speckled lacing around the sides of my nonic pint glass.

Aroma has earthy, vinous hop notes with caramel malts and raisins in the back end pretty interesting smell to it.

Malt base shines through in the flavor profile, rich complex vinous grape notes, herbal earthy bittering hops in this English style bitter. Gives off a nutty edge and beautiful malt base, rich with complexity really makes for a drinkable style of beer that New Glarus Brewing is known for.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied even flowing carbonation on the palate goes great with every approach in a nice big malt bill like this…even balance perfect match of hop and malt balance actually.

Overall, very impressive from start to finish, here’s to complexity I’m game for a beer like this anyday!

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Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

12oz bottle poured into a SN snifter. The brew appears clear copper in color with s yellowish tan cap 2 fingers strong. Some patchy lace sticks to the walls of the glass.

The aroma is fruity and floral from a combo of hops and alcohol esters. Across the back and filling the voids are some mineral elements which are found across seemingly every beer camp offering this year.

The taste includes some toasty toffee malt with a little carbonic character. Mildly fruity and floral hops are quite pleasant but its difficult to ignore the displaced mineral attributes of this.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is easy drinking and par the course for this variety.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is a pretty nice bitter. Has a consistent mildly roasted edge on it. Heavy malt presence. Spice edge is there from what I assume are more English style hops? Smooth feel. Very easy to drink. I would imagine this would be quite tasty on cask. As it is though, it's very nice. Another hit from the Beer Camp release.

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Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A nice deep copper orange body, with minimal carbonation. Head is fluffy and soapy off white, with about three fingers tall height. A little bit of spotty lacing.

Nice hints of strawberry fruit like esters, and good cinnamon spiced toast. Good brown sugar and spiced brown angle on this, with a bit of caramel too. Solid.

Palate brings some nice simplicity. Nice toasty malt and brown bread with a spiced finish, not unlike the matching cinnamon nose. Hints of little brown bread, and minimal hop bitterness with a little bit of fruit matching slightly with the yeast punch quality. Slightly tangy and poppy, pretty solid.

Nothing crazy, nothing awful, just a solid good bitter.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer Camp #9: Sierra Nevada/ New Glarus There and Back English-style Bitter. Alc. by Vol. 5.5%. 40 IBU.

Lightly hazed, bronze colored, slim white head.

Aroma: Malt notes hit the nose first, caramel and toffee and such. Low hops, sweet and pleasant.

Taste: In the mouth and on the palate: sweetness all the more. It's a malt-driven brew, no doubt about that. Some fruity notes appear, some nuttiness, gliding just under the hops. Very keenly balanced bitter. It's a sessioner for sure, and here's where I wish I knew more about Tolkien to make appropriate puns (for, I assume, that's where they got the name). It's a bit more malty/sweet than I think an ESB ought to be, but that's okay, they're doing their own thing.

Now, what does the label teach us? "This easy-drinking English-style bitter features nutty, toasted English malts balanced by a solid dose of zesty hops and a fruity, dry finish." I guess it is rather dry, after all. But ever-so sweet before. Wait, there's more!
"For beer folks, Chicio, CA and New Glarus, WI are bucket-list pins on the U.S. brewing map, but it's no simple feat seeing both. There and Back is named for the planes, trains, and zeal that connect them. This classic English-style bitter is a complex mix of toasty malt and fruity, herbal hops."

Okay, so no admitted connection to "The Hobbit"'s subtitle, "There And Back Again", but that doesn't mean it isn't hidden there somewhere.

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There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,276 ratings.
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